Byron York has it for you: Impeachment moves to Senate. Get ready for a scramble — and a January surprise.
The last time Mitch McConnell checked in--last week on Hannity--he sounded confident that GOP unity would hold and that he might gain one or two Dem senators. My view is that the scenario York paints is unlikely simply because it could spell political suicide for any turncoat Republicans. Even for those not facing an election, their betrayal would not be forgotten. I suspect the lessons of the Kavanaugh nomination have been learned. McConnell will be in overall charge.
Here's York's bottom line version:
Schumer is not trying to convince all 53 Senate Republicans to support his proposal. He just needs four. There are 47 Democrats in the Senate. If Schumer can persuade four GOP senators to join Democrats, they'll have a majority of 51 and can force the calling of new witnesses. Of course, Schumer is counting on Democrats voting as a bloc against the president, which is probably a good bet.
If Schumer gets what he wants, it seems hard to believe that will be the end of it. The request for more witnesses appears designed to lead not to closure but to reopening the case against Trump. In this way, if Democrats can introduce new testimony in the trial, they can say the new testimony has raised new questions that will require new investigation. And new investigation will require more new witnesses, which will surely lead to more new questions, which ...
Call it the Brett Kavanaugh model of impeachment. During the Supreme Court justice's confirmation process, a hearing had already been held, and Kavanaugh appeared on the way to joining the court. Then, up popped a new allegation, the Christine Blasey Ford story, and Democrats demanded the case be reopened, witnesses be interviewed, evidence be gathered, and time be taken for more investigation. Republicans acceded to those demands, and the Kavanaugh confirmation careened off course for a while before GOP lawmakers finally got it back on track.
For example: On Monday, lawyers for the House Judiciary Committee told a federal court it is essential that grand jury materials from special counsel Robert Mueller's Trump-Russia investigation be given to House investigators. Why? Because it might help the impeachment effort. "If the House approves articles of impeachment," the lawyers argued, "relevant grand-jury material that the committee obtains in this litigation could be used during the subsequent Senate proceedings."
If the Judiciary Committee receives the information, there is little doubt its leaders will work with Senate Democrats to create the impression that there is new evidence so compelling that it absolutely must be included in the impeachment trial. And if Republicans disagree, what are they trying to hide?
Indeed, Schumer and his colleagues have prepared the way to characterize any move to limit the trial's scope as an effort to hide wrongdoing from the American people. "To engage in a trial without the facts coming out is to engage in a cover-up," he said Monday.
The bottom line is, Republicans should not believe for one minute that the campaign to remove the president will rely only on the case Democrats have built in the House. Schumer and other party leaders will scramble for new information to throw at the president, and at Republicans, until it is over. The GOP, and the White House, need to be ready.
UPDATE: Looks like Mitch gets it. And by "gets it" I mean that he's internalized the lessons of the Kavanaugh confirmation:
Senate Mitch McConnell dismisses Sen. Chuck Schumer's proposal to call live witnesses: "Those who have been eagerly hoping for impeachment are starting to scramble." https://t.co/gZeA2x1TQ9 pic.twitter.com/HrwZFbhn7E— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) December 17, 2019
the Trump defense can respond by introducing evidence of their own. Evidence of Democrat party/Ukraine corruption. Call Biden and Hillary to testify as to their political and business dealings with Ukraine. Question Obama under oath and ask what he knew of Biden and his son.ReplyDelete
No grounds for impeachment if Trump can show probable cause for asking Ukraine to help uncover Democrat/Ukraine collusion crimes.
I'm only speculating from a distance without all the facts. It may depend on where the full Barr/Durham investigation is actually going. It may be better to have a tightly limited Senate procedure if Barr/Durham are getting into some of that. There are a lot of ways to look at this. The full blown, let it all hang out, approach is one way. But there are others.Delete
so the Durham go slow approach is hurting Trump. If Durham has evidence of wrongdoing by democrats in Ukraine, that is all that is needed to end the impeachment process. And if he has found nothing republicans can place the blame on Giuliani and say Trump was only pressuring Ukraine because of what Rudy had insinuated to him.Delete
Who said Durham's approach is "go slow"?Delete
I have been predicting for over a month now that the Impeachment never reaches the Senate. Pelosi puts it in her purse, and complains the GOP Senate will "ignore the overwhelming, uncontested, and irrefutable evidence" (even though there isn't any) of Trump's guilt (even though the articles of Impeachment specify no crimes, high or low,) and she cannot, in good conscience, allow him to be exonerated by the evil, partisan GOP Senate.ReplyDelete
This prediction was bolstered by a comment a few days ago by no less an authority than Lawrence Tribe who counseled that Pelosi should hold back the Impeachment from the Senate if the GOP Senate did not agree to the Dems demands to introduce new evidence, new witnesses, new charges, and new punishments (I exaggerate, but only slightly.)
My point is that having railroaded an Impeachment via a warped and unfair process controlled entirely by the Dems in the House (Schiff and Nadler,)they cannot afford to turn it loose in a Senate controlled by the GOP, where the trial can be used to expose the mendacity of the House Impeachment Process, as well as a parade of witnesses to impeach the veracity of the House fake Impeachment witnesses, and expose the connivings by the fake Whistleblower with Schiff's staff, and potentially much much more.
The bottom line is a trial in the GOP Senate could put the House Democrats and their dirty tricks, on trial with a large TV audience watching it live.
They can't afford to do that.
And thus, the real purpose of Impeachment is revealed: it was all about getting the demoralized Dem base back on the reservation-- after they were let down by the Mueller report in the Spring -- for November, in the desperate hope they can salvage enough House seats to retain control; I believe they have already given up any hope of winning the WH -- they already know none of their candidates can beat Trump with the approval ratings he's enjoying, and the condition of the economy, and picking up minority support in unprecedented numbers as he marches toward reelection.
That's why they were willing to do an Impeachment that is increasing Trump's support -- they know they've already lost that fight; it's all about saving control in the House, and to do that they need base voters to turn out in their Congressional Districts. The Impeachment process sacrifices presidential votes in the hope that the base turns out for the Congressional seats.
It's possible. Problem with that is that Impeachment Theater may be LOSING them the House, judging from polling.Delete
I agree they may well lose the House as well, but my point is that Impeachment was the only play they had to get the base back on board, and without the base, they are definitely going to lose control of the House.Delete
4th quarter 13 seconds on the clock,your down by 6 points to the opposing team, and it's 4th down, on your own 40 yard line. What play do you call?
"Hail Mary, on two..."
Dems are in the same situation, and are using the same playbook: "Impeachment, on two."
I see another angle, i.e. to try to rev the base up, to intimidate Barr into treading lightly vs. Obummer's D.S.Delete
If Barr sees a Left ready to use mass "peaceful protest", to e.g. block doorways of courtrooms where D.S. trials happen, he may go easier on proposed jail terms for these D.S. creeps.
>> "Indeed, Schumer and his colleagues have prepared the way to characterize any move to limit the trial's scope as an effort to hide wrongdoing from the American people. "To engage in a trial without the facts coming out is to engage in a cover-up," he said Monday. " <<ReplyDelete
I would point out that this is a bold-faced attempt by Dems to hijack the Impeachment Trial.
The Constitution says the HOuse must approve Articles of Impeachment, and the Senate can try the president on THOSE APPROVED ARTICLES. The Senate doesn't get to inject new allegations against the president; they would have to go through the House and have NEW Articles drawn up, after collecting evidence and testimony in support of a new Article of Impeachment. Anything else is extra-constitutional.
Same principle as charging someone with jaywalking, and then during the trial, putting on witnesses who claim you robbed a bank.
IF it isn't in the specification of the alleged crime, they can't put on witnesses accusing you of OTHER acts.
Just another example how Schumer doesn't give a rats ass about the rule of law ,and as all-too-eager to gut the very Constitution they swore an oath to protect and defend when it suits them.
Schumer reminds me of that quote from "Man for All Seasons" where foolish young Will Roper advocates ignoring all the laws if that was necessary to get to the Devil:
“William Roper: “So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!”
Sir Thomas More: “Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?”
William Roper: “Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!”
Sir Thomas More: “Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!”
Excellent point re the articles.Delete
Off topic, but a very pleasurable read.
This person thinks Trump will take the stand and destroy the Dems.ReplyDelete
Based on the fact that Trump has done everything so far in an unorthodox manner, and he has balls.
Presumably, if there were anything in the Grand Jury proceedings useful to Mueller, he'd have used it--to further any doubt, to cast aspersions, to bolster his theory of obstruction. And to leak it, as a "sources say" quote to the WaPo.ReplyDelete
Schumer is putting forth a media strategy--a continuation of the fabricated Russia hoax and Ukraine allegations in order to turn public opinion, in order to claim Trump is so compromised he can no longer continue to serve. It's all about overturning 2016, by any means necessary.
The GJ demand is also a media strategy.Delete
After thinking on that for a bit...what's the likelihood that Andrew Weissman has been communicating encouragement regarding the GJ disclosure strategy? On the idea that there's more "stuff" to get publicized, i.e. allegations/activities that can take on a different color when taken out of context?Delete
The entire premise of the Democrats approach was for open speculation to rum rampant in media--veracity wasn't even an afterthought.
I'm expecting the courts to ultimately clamp down on this People's House run riot--just in the interests of preserving their own authority.Delete
If the Dem's send over the Articles what are the chance that Robert's first order of business is to slap a gag order on everyone, a la Roger Stone, and hold all parties strictly to argument within the Senate well during convened trial hours?Delete
I'd say 'zero' without any qualifications.Delete
Guiliani would be Trump's first (and only?) witness. The famous anti-corruption prosecutor & mayor of NYC defending Trump against the swamp. Senate Democrats & Senate anti-Trumpers don't want that. So they'll negotiate to toss the impeachment articles into the trash, no trial.ReplyDelete
The latest is that the Dems might impeach Donald but not send their articles to the Senate. In other words, never mind.ReplyDelete
Broken record time. Trump is popular. Why else do they hate him so. Let Pierre Delecto, Murkowski or Collins vote yea. They'll find out.
That was Larry Tribe's idea. I doubt they'll do that.Delete
Nobody's asking, what about the SOTU?
Trump'll roast and toast them at the SOTU!ReplyDelete